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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the longest you have gone without a valve check/adjustment? I had the valves checked at 8000 miles. They claim to have adjusted only one of the 4 valves at that time. I skipped the 15K and 22.5k checks and now have 23,500 miles. So 3 of the 4 valves have gone 23.5k from new with no adjustment and the other one is over 15k.

I'm not one to skip maintenance but there are a few reasons I'm pushing it. One is cost of course. My first adjustment only cost $225 for just the valves. Not bad at all, but maybe a bit lower as only one valve needed adjusting. The other reason is I don't think it will damage the engine by pushing the valves. The valves just won't open as far if out of spec, as opposed opening too far and damaging the piston. Eventually it will be hard to start and/or lose some power. So far it's running fine. The last reason is I drive 60 miles a day to work at 70mph expressway. With expressway miles, technically the maintenance interval can be increased. I'm sure the 7500 mile recommended intervals are based on worst case city driving. Engine wear is based on rpm and time, not miles. At 4000rpm and 70mph, I'm putting on the miles twice as fast as 4000rpm at 35mph, however the engine wear is about the same. I'm a pilot, and this is how they measure service intervals for an airplane engine, by looking at "tachometer time". At max rpm, the meter counts hour per hour, less than max, it's less than 1 hour per every actual hour.

I just stopped by my Ducati dealer. It is now under new ownership and they also sell BMW now. I scheduled my valve check for 2 months from now. They estimated worst case $600 for the check. Is this normal cost? Seems a bit high. My last check was $225. Debating about doing the check myself. I already am doing the belts, but the valves are a pain to get to.
 

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2012 Monster 1100 EVO -- 1991 Honda Nighthawk 750 -- 2011 Monster 796 (wife's)
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At our shop's suggestion, my wife had the first service on her 796 that is normally done at 7500 miles at only 3500 miles and that included changing the timing belts, which is normally at 15000 miles. The mechanic made the point that the main issue is not the adjustment of the valves, but the replacing of the belts that is critical. The danger being that if a belt breaks, then a valve can hit the piston, and the recommendation is to change the belts every 2 years even if the bike is below the recommended mileage. I would guess that if you have been doing the belts you are ok, but don't put that off too long!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At our shop's suggestion, my wife had the first service on her 796 that is normally done at 7500 miles at only 3500 miles and that included changing the timing belts, which is normally at 15000 miles. The mechanic made the point that the main issue is not the adjustment of the valves, but the replacing of the belts that is critical. The danger being that if a belt breaks, then a valve can hit the piston, and the recommendation is to change the belts every 2 years even if the bike is below the recommended mileage. I would guess that if you have been doing the belts you are ok, but don't put that off too long!
Thanks for the info. Yes, belts are more important. I do those myself every 2 years or 15k.
 

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2012 Monster 1100 EVO -- 1991 Honda Nighthawk 750 -- 2011 Monster 796 (wife's)
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I take it that changing the belts is not that bad. May give it a go myself on my 1100. It's been a couple of years easily. Thanks!
 

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If the shims on your "closer" half of the valve movement gets too far out of whack your valves won't seal closed properly when closed which can lead to burning the valves out.

Having said that I do believe that the valve check intervals aren't set with average use in mind.
The are set for people who often have a duc that is track use only, so higher revs and higher average running temps.
Combine an engine that spends most of its life being flogged hard with longer periods between use (this allows oil to not be present on critical components on start up) and things will wear out faster, hence the recommended valve check intervals.
They have to cover their arses for warranties.

If you don't ride like "streetrossi" you should be able to go longer between valve checks.
If you ride your bike normaly and regularly you should be able to feel if something is playing up and get the issue rectified before it's a major problem where's as a track bike often will destroy the engine when issues arise.

Belts need to be done, you should get away with longer intervals for them but why risk an engine over a cheap and simple to replace part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I take it that changing the belts is not that bad. May give it a go myself on my 1100. It's been a couple of years easily. Thanks!
It's not bad if you know what you are doing. Takes me maybe an hour.
 

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Monster 796 ABS
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It's not bad if you know what you are doing. Takes me maybe an hour.
I bought my bike with 28k on the clock and a service manual that said the "Desmo Service" was last done at 18k. So, potentially it went 10k without belts/valve-adjust.
I did them almost straight away, and I definitely found the openers were a bit tight. The closers were OK, but close to edge of the spec (0.05mm).

I can concur, doing the belts can be a quick an easy job. If you know what you are doing, or have a good guide to follow, then the hardest bit is probably getting the belt cover off for the vertical cylinder without having to take the tank off (it's 3D Tetris on my 796, but it is possible).

IMHO The camshaft lock-pin method is by far the easiest and fastest. No thinking necessary.

On my first go-round, I followed some youtube videos and ended up marking belts with white-marker and counting teeth and all sorts of nonsense.
It got the job done, but it really wasted a lot of time.

If you have the belts off, though, it really is worth taking a look at the valves. At least for the horizontal cylinder - it's right there, out in the open. It really is a 2 minute extra effort.
If you do, and find they are in need of adjustment, then I'd suggest to rotate the shims few times to see if they are etched with their size.
Some of them are etched with their size in mm. Something like 2.90, 2.95 or 3.00, etc.
If you are lucky, they are etched and - importantly - haven't been lapped already.

With the shim size and the clearance measurement, you can reasonably well predict what size shims you are going to need.
If you need to order some in. Of course you'll probably need to order a few sizes around what you think you need, but at least it gives you a ballpark.

Hope this helps.
 

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I bought a M900Sie (50tKM in total, no servicing for the last 15tKM) last year which was optically PERFECT but the PO had been letting the service intervals slide. The bike would not idle properly, ran badly generally and IMHO was not worth riding as it was because it was just annoying. Long story short the closers were so far out whack that the Valves were gummed up on the inlets and showing burning/pitting on the exhausts (thank you endoscope) resulting in me pulling both heads and recutting the valve seats, then reshimming the whole lot.
I subsequently have a M1100 in the garage and at 12,000 Km 3 of 4 needed resetting and as a matter of course i now check them every winter in the "off season". Yes it takes a few hours, but a whole lot less than pulling the heads (which on the 1100 means dropping the motor).
Each to their own, but it has been my experience that preventative maintenance is quicker and cheaper in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IMHO The camshaft lock-pin method is by far the easiest and fastest. No thinking necessary.
I do use the lock pin methiod when changing belts. And good idea on just checking the horizontal cylinder. Thought about that, but haven't done it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I bought a M900Sie (50tKM in total, no servicing for the last 15tKM) last year which was optically PERFECT but the PO had been letting the service intervals slide. The bike would not idle properly, ran badly generally and IMHO was not worth riding as it was because it was just annoying. Long story short the closers were so far out whack that the Valves were gummed up on the inlets and showing burning/pitting on the exhausts (thank you endoscope) resulting in me pulling both heads and recutting the valve seats, then reshimming the whole lot.
I subsequently have a M1100 in the garage and at 12,000 Km 3 of 4 needed resetting and as a matter of course i now check them every winter in the "off season". Yes it takes a few hours, but a whole lot less than pulling the heads (which on the 1100 means dropping the motor).
Each to their own, but it has been my experience that preventative maintenance is quicker and cheaper in the long run.
Thanks for the info. I wanted to get the bike in as soon as possible, but the dealer is backed up for 2 months.
 

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I do them myself every other oil change. They tend to be out by less than a thousandth, but I found one once that was out by a hundredth. No bueno, glad I caught it. Valves are super easy to do on these bikes
 
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